Psychology Beats Biology

If you’ve trained at KPC, if you’ve seen us online, if you have read anything I’ve written, I have this one thing I say all the time, which is “psychology beats biology”.  I’d like to take a little time to explain that.

This saying comes from the thought process that intent will almost always beat physical exertion.  Being the smarter animal and being the stronger animal are two totally different things.

We are not on top of the food chain because we are the strongest or the fastest, we are here because we are the trickiest and we are the smartest.

When all things are equal, when we’re the same height, same weight, same training, similar skill set – the thing that’s going to win is going to be mentality.  There’s a huge field based around this – there’s sports psychology, there are personal life coaches, there’s Tony Robbins-esque people trying to make you feel better about what you do.

This all applies directly to the world of self-defense as well.  If you don’t believe you can do something, if you don’t think you’re capable of doing something then you’re not going to be able to do it.

(this honey badger did get away)

Every single human being is capable of hurting people. It’s hardwired into us. We have the ability to defend ourselves. We have the ability to hunt, we have the ability to kill. Socialization and ethics – learned processes – are the reasons why you “can’t” do these things.

Why I say psychology beats biology is, if somebody has more intent, if somebody is more willing to hurt you, do more damage to you than you’re willing to do to them, they are most likely going to win that encounter.

The saying I always use is, if we are going to fight, and it’s equal weight, equal size, equal whatever, all things equal, and I just want to show off to my girlfriend how tough I am, and the other guy is wondering how my eyeballs taste in soup … that person’s probably going to do a lot better than I am going to do in the engagement.  He’s going to have a stronger drive, he’s going to fight harder, he’s going to kick into one of the four D’s that we talk about, determination.  Determination beats higher skill set a lot.


There was an article recently where a professional mixed martial artist was robbed at gunpoint by two guys. He got pistol-whipped and beaten, because the level of violence – he wasn’t ready for it.  The intent of the attackers was a predatory-type attack – they needed something and he was a resource.  They went at him, and, in his mentality, he defended himself in the way that he does.

He lost the engagement – as anybody would have. I’m not saying we would have done any better – I’m saying the intent of the attackers was to do as much damage as possible, to get what they needed from that person, and his intent was only to defend himself.  In the action-versus-reaction dynamic, their action definitely beat his reaction.

So, bringing this all together – I think psychology beats biology.  The person in the better state who is willing to do the most things is going to win the engagement at that time.

2017-02-10T21:47:57+00:00

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